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Advance questions and statement to Nepal

Advance questions:

  1. The right to education applies to all children. As Nepal is formulating a new sector plan for school education, what measures will be taken to promote greater equity in both access, enrolment and educational outcome for marginalised groups, including Dalit children and children with disabilities?
  2. Norway refers to concerns raised by the UN Human Rights Committee and the CEDAW Committee respectively, with respect to access to citizenship for women and children in Nepal. How have these rights been addressed in the new constitution recently adopted by the Constituent Assembly?
  3. Norway notes with concern that victims of torture, rape and other forms of sexual violence from the conflict period are unrecognised in past and ongoing programmes for conflict victims. What steps can be taken to ensure that victims of torture and sexual violence from the conflict period are provided with effective reparations, including appropriate compensation, restitution and rehabilitation? What steps have been taken to follow up Nepal’s National Action Plan for the implementation of SR 1325/1820, with respect to the provision of free medical service and psycho-social and legal counselling to women and girls victims of SGBV during the time of conflict?

Statement:

Mr President, 

Norway welcomes the delegation from Nepal. We commend Nepal for having ratified most international conventions on human rights while also demonstrating a will to ensure their implementation.

Nepal has made significant progress in promoting the right to education, most notably through increased school enrolment and gender parity. Despite important steps to ensure inclusion of marginalised groups, the enrollment of children with disabilities remains low and drop-out rates are high. These children have the same right to education as all other children.

With reference to the CRPD (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) , Norway recommends Nepal to amend current education policies, to ensure an inclusive education system and concrete measures to increase the participation of children with disability.

The establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission on Inquiry of Enforced Disappeared Persons, are important milestones in Nepal’s efflorts to ensure transitional justice. Norway emphasises the importance of ensuring these Commissions’ effective and independent functioning in accordance with international law. Norway welcomes the prohibition of amnesties for gross violations of international human rights law as an important step to this end.

Norway recommends that torture and enforced disappearances shall be explicitly prohibited as criminal offence under Nepali law.

Norway notes with great concern that violence against women continues to be a serious problem in Nepal. Acts of discrimination, trafficking, sexual harassment and assault of women appear to have increased in areas struck by the tragic earthquakes earlier this year.

Norway recommends Nepal to increase efforts to protect women from violence and discrimination, in particular in areas affected by the earthquakes.

Norway also recommends Nepal to enact consolidated laws addressing all types of sexual violence effectively, with provisions of no statutory limitation on rape and other sexual violence, adequate witness and victim protection mechanisms, compensation from state and measures to address special needs of girls below 16.

Furthermore, Norway recommends Nepal to amend the Domestic Violence Act, in particular to clarify the definition of sexual harm and broaden the definition of domestic violence to also include threats of violence, as well as include all types of physical harm.

Finally, Norway congratulates Nepal for having taken positive steps towards the recognition of LGBTI rights, the provision of “others” in passports and in disembarking and embarking cards being the latest achievement to this end. Norway and encourages the establishment of a strong legal framework to safeguard the rights of LGBTI persons.